Wooldridge Monuments

Historical marker #1288 in Graves County stands in front of the Wooldridge Monuments, a series of fifteen life-size statues in the Maplewood Cemetery.

Colonel Henry Wooldridge was a horse breeder, farmer, and fox hunter. Following the Civil War, he lived in south Graves County until his sister died and then moved to Mayfield. A lifelong bachelor, Wooldridge purchased a lot at Maplewood Cemetery after losing the last of his 3 sisters in 1892. The statues were commissioned during the 1890s to commemorate lost family members and others in his life. They depict Woolridge’s family members, including his mother, brothers, sisters, and nieces, as well as his hunting dogs, Tow-Head and Bob, a fox, and a deer. Most of the statues are made of sandstone. The statues were built over a period of seven years, until his death on May 30, 1899.

There are two statues of Wooldridge within the monuments: one sitting atop his favorite horse, Fop, and another made of marble. The marble statue of Wooldridge is the only one made of this material in the series of monuments. The marble statue was carved in Italy. Wooldridge is the only member of his family buried in Maplewood Cemetery.

In January 2009, the monuments were damaged when a large tree fell during an ice storm, breaking several of the heads. Only the statues of Woolridge’s sisters and a dog remained standing. Over the summer of 2010, all the monuments were restored on site by the Monument Conservation Collaborative, a monument restoration firm based in Connecticut. The monuments were rededicated in October of 2010. The monuments were not damaged during the tornado in December 2021 that hit the Mayfield and many surrounding areas.

This marker was dedicated on November 15, 1985.

It reads:

Those enshrined here are Keziah Nichols, mother of Col. Henry Wooldridge; his brothers, W.F., Alfred, Josiah and John; his sisters, Narcissa, Minerva and Susan; small statues of great nieces, Maud and Minnie. His favorite hunting dogs, Tow-Head and Bob, a deer and fox along with Henry, himself, astride his favorite horse, Fop. See over.

(Reverse) Wooldridge Monuments - This rare statuary, a memorial to loved ones, was conceived by Colonel Henry Wooldridge, whose central marble image was carved in Italy. Devoted to the memory of his family and his life. Animal lover, famous fox hunter and member of the Masonic order, only he is entombed here. Details at Chamber of Commerce.